Monday, April 16, 2018

Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

Title: Squared Away
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A

Genre: Military Romance (m/m)
Series: Out of Uniform #5
Main Characters: Mark and Isaiah
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

My Review:
Wow...I really loved this book. These two guys are complicated and messy and don't know how to communicate even the slightest bit, but neither one of them has ever been a serious relationship, so I'm cutting them some slack on that. They made up for it in heat and understanding and emotion and true depths of feeling that made this book outstanding. They're also dealing with so many overwhelming, complex emotions that most people don't have to deal with so young...death and grieving for family they were very close to on top of trying to care and nurture THREE children under five...it broke my heart.

But before anything else happened, there were these two guys six years before when Isaiah asked Mark to be his first time and Mark flat out turned him down. I love how the story about what really happened behind the scenes there unfolded with where Mark was at mentally. His confusion in this book tore at my heart and I loved him so much for just thinking he's broken. He has no real idea about why he's different from others. The author did an amazing job of explaining all this and I loved this character for it...even when he's being a stoic, closed-mouth jerk. 

Note: both these guys need a good long hug and an explanation about communication throughout most of the book. 

And just let me say...the sex in this book is incredibly hot...even when it's just kissing. Knowing that this is almost all new to Mark makes it so much more and sweet. I loved how true the sexual moments between the two of them were. 

I just really loved this story. The entire series has been incredible, but I think this may be my favorite book of the series. So, so good!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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